What is a short certificate?

A short certificate is a document issued by the Register of Wills after the will has been probated. It evidences the appointment of the personal representative to administer the estate. This document allows the personal representative to act on behalf of the estate to close bank accounts, file final income tax returns, process pension benefits, and close brokerage accounts.

The current charge is $10 per certificate, and each bank will require an original. It is called a short certificate because it is a one-half page form.

Show All Answers

1. Must all wills be probated? Can money distribution be made to heirs without probate?
2. If someone dies, where will I find the will?
3. What happens if I can’t find the will?
4. What if I know there is no will?
5. What must be legally done with the will?
6. I have been named executor, but I do not want to serve. Can I get out of it?
7. What must I do if I am named executor?
8. Can the Register of Wills guide me through estate administration, or must I seek legal counsel?
9. What is a short certificate?
10. How do I know how much I have to pay in taxes? When do I have to pay them?