Nestled between the towering cliffs of the Zorian plateau, lies a vast cavity that is wide enough to swallow an adult bull elephant with enough space to spare for a small herd of draft horses on either side. There you will find gold, an abundance of it. But what is that you say? That the natives tell you that it is a place of death and home to hideous monster that will devour you? Ignore the savages. They only seek to protect what they are too indolent to grab for themselves.
-A Khanate offical assuring a bunch of miners.
A possible answer to what happens to spells when a mage dies. If the spell is strong enough, say and enchantment or other permenant effect, part of the mages spirit may become lodged in the magic. It may be a way for items to gain some kind of intelligence, but a mage who has knowledge of this fact would be very hesitant about enchanting anyone or thing. He might have other plans for his afterlife than counting the change in your bag of holding.
Preists, I think, would have this sort of thing covered.