No, no one died in real life. Just a player left the game, meaning that his character, Eunike will not be playing with us again. Technically the character is not "dead" as the player can choose to return anytime, but it's unlikely. So he put his gold (70K) to the guild bank, donated 40K to a friend, asking me to send him in 5K pieces in 8 weeks. He also sent me lot of stuff to sell and put the gold to the guild bank. As you know, the gold in the bank serves only one purpose, free repairs, so it's pretty equally distributed in the guild.
Trying to sell his things isn't easy, despite my experience in buying and selling. He had very different business from me, so I don't know when and how to sell the items. I can just brute force it: scan the AH and trust the addon. I try to sell the epics at the horde as they buy those things more. However, large part of his fortune is not even in my mailbox. It lies with the now inactive character as soulbound stuff. He could reclaim very little of its value by disenchanting or vendoring.
This reminded me handling the stuff of a deceased family member. No, she wasn't that close, I helped the close relative. There I found the same: most of the stuff she had were "soulbound", things that worth a lot to her, but nothing to the surviving relatives. Not even emotional value, as they were simple "gear". Clothes, medicine, furniture, things we all need and use but can't really pass on.
One could say death is the biggest destroyer of material value, devaluing lot of items into rubbish in a second. However it's not true. The item is just the same as it was when its owner lived. The value destroyer is "soulbounding". "Bind when equipped" or even "bind on pick-up" is very common in real life too. The shirt in the shop may worth $50. If you buy it, even if you don't open the package, you can only sell in a second hand shop for about half of it. If you wear it, just once, even the second hand shop will give you less than $10.
The solution, both ingame and real life is "simple": don't buy stuff that you don't use soon. Later you can't un-soulbound it, and neither you, nor the ones who inherit it can use it.