There's an interesting blog post here about what books authors never chose to (or were unable to) publish say about them. While fans of a deceased author often go into raptures over posthumously-published works, I find them a bit gruesome and often inappropriate (especially when during their lifetime the author made it clear they were never to be published.) Yet I was enchanted to hear about the discovery of some music written by Mozart when he was a child, so maybe I should adjust my own attitude.
Obviously writers should destroy anything they don't want to survive them, but this lost works post plus the Mozart discovery made me think of another way to handle posthumous publication. What if you destroyed what you didn't want published (which would really be smart, btw) but also deliberately left behind unpublished/unknown works that you do want published, either to finish works that were never wrapped up and/or to possibly provide some extra income for your heirs? In a way it would be a creative variety of writer's life insurance. It wouldn't be a bad way to bid your readers farewell, either.
I'm leaving behind enough unpublished works that I think the life insurance angle is pretty well-covered, but I also wouldn't mind writing a book and arranging to have it released posthumously for free on the internet. I can think of several ideas that would be cool to leave behind in the free library after I go on to the next place.
Writers, have you considered what should be done with your unpubbed work after your demise? Have you come up with any creative solutions to the dilemma? Let us know in comments.