I wasn't talking about altering anything, but downloading it. liamhere was talking about having a torrent of his dead uncle's music (probably just a made up example).
i didn't mention or suggest anything to do with "altering" and the reply was in regards to your answer about that uncle
the position remains that if you download without permission, it's illegal. after the rights holder dies, the rights will pass to the estate, and in turn will usually be passed to someone else who inherits it. so if the person downloading didn't inherit the rights, then it's illegal. however with most commercial music the rights may be held by a company rather than an individual, either the publishers or the record company
it's just as if someone died and left £1000 to their partner. their children have no right to just take the £1000. it's just with downloading you can take the music and the owner still has a copy
families argue about music rights all the time for famous artists, it can get pretty crazy in some cases. look at the jackass family fighting like vultures and allegedly faking documents to make money from the dead