So your mum, dad, uncle, sister or other relative was writing stuff and when they died you inherited part of their estate or all of it and there’s screeds of stuff on a computer or in a suitcase under the bed. What to do with it? Many people simply dump the journals and writings of their inheritance but you shouldn’t – here’s why.
The important thing for you to know is that this writing has a copyright which belongs equally to those who inherit the estate and that it could, if published and made available for sale, be of value to you and your family.
After the death of an author their copyright belongs to their estate for 50 years, or 70 years in the USA (thank you Disney corp) which means that the copyright owner/s can licence the use of those rights to others or monetise those rights themselves.
These ways of using the written material include publishing books as ebooks, printed books either paperback or hard back; making movies or podcasts, audio books, foreign language rights, serials, blog posts and much more.