Not very helpful but in the two cases where I have acted as the Executor of a will, I would say that the sole documentation generated was:
- The will itself;
- The Request for Probate;
- The information about the estate sent off with(?) the Request for Probate and destined for HM Revenue & Customs so that they knew the size of the estate and how much Inheritance Tax was due - if any;
- The Grant of Probate.
Of those documents, the last in the sequence is the Grant of Probate. The question then arises - at what point does the Executor(s) (presumably) realise that the size of the estate doesn't match the bequests in the will? Theoretically, because the taxman wants to know the size of the estate, this realisation should come before the Request for Probate and tax form is sent off. If so, then the Grant of Probate should record the size of the estate and this can be compared to the terms of the will. This is itself a tricky task as the value quoted on the grant needs to be interpreted:
The values quoted in probate proceedings from 1858 onwards are gross figures for the personal estate - exact values should appear from 1881 onwards. Real estate was excluded unless it had been leased to a tenant for a fixed term of years - clearly this had income generation but also, I imagine, could not be disposed of as easily. (I have no idea about the scope of the estate pre-1858 under Church Court rules).
From 1898 onwards, real property was included in valuations unless it was subject to a settlement or trust. So, for instance, property that the deceased only had a life interest in would not be included in the valuation.
(See Mark Herber, Ancestral Trails, p179).
This is about the only way that I can see of seeing of there was an issue - clearly the major unknown in this theory is the value of any real estate before 1898.
If the realisation of an issue comes after the Request for Probate and tax form is sent off, then I doubt there is any record. In theory, the powers-that-be could require my accounts as an executor and this would record the shortfall in the realised value, but (a) how often do they enquire? and (b) given that the accounts would go into the Tax system, how would they ever surface again?