In the current climate many executors are likely to be considering the possibility of selling property below its probate value and claiming loss relief.
For relief to apply the property must be sold by the person liable to IHT, i.e. the personal representatives. If the PRs all but finalise the administration but continue to hold the property, perhaps letting it before eventually marketing and selling it (within the four year period), is it possible HMRC could argue that the residue of the estate had effectively been ascertained prior to the sale so in fact the PRs were merely holding the property on bare trust for the beneficiaries (and the sale was not therefore truly by the PRs)?
I am reasonable confident that HMRC do not take this approach and that in any case the possibility of the relief would itself be enough to demonstrate that residue was not ascertained prior to sale, but I would be interested to know the views of others.