S178-189 of the Inheritance Tax Act (1984) allows relief to be claimed where shares are sold at a loss in the year following death, allowing the sold share price to be substituted for the date of death value submitted in the inheritance tax return. 

The following conditions for claiming the relief must be met:

1. The shares sold must be 'qualifying investments', this means unlisted investments and shares quoted on the Alternative Investment Market will not qualify;

2. The sales must take place within 12 months of the date of death;

3. The shares must be sold by the person(s) liable for the inheritance tax, i.e. the executors (legal personal representatives); and

4. There must be an overall loss on the sales (i.e. all sales must be included in the claim, not just those making a loss).

Given the recent uncertainty and fall in the stock market, this could be a valuable relief not to be missed.