One of my close collaborators passed away last year and since then I have become curious about the question of attributing work to deceased authors. Each journal has its rules but there doesn't seem to be any consensus what the ethical ground of these decisions is. Recently a different collaborator of mine published a paper with a co-author who passed away 3-4 years ago, which struck me as strange.
On the one hand, work should always be attributed. If someone contributed ideas, funding, manual labor, or wrote the manuscript, they should be mentioned somehow. On the other hand, most journals ask to confirm that all authors have seen the final version of the paper.
Of course, in reality contributors are often over- or underrepresented. For instance, should someone who edited the manuscript be a co-author or appear in an acknowledgement? Does it depend on whether their edits change the content of the paper or just the presentation? On the other hand, if a deceased author contributed the main ideas of a paper but was not around to edit the manuscript, who can decide whether they would not object to the content of the paper?
As there are different reasons for citing a deceased collaborator, I think there are (at least) two questions here: (1) what should an honest person do to honor their collaborators, without adding to their name papers they may have disagreed with; (2) what should a dishonest person be prevented from doing in terms of citing deceased collaborators as a form of name dropping (even if there is some justification for adding them).