My sympathies for your family's loss;
a short certificate is basically Letters Testamentary issued by the court when a probate case is filed; please see:
The decedent died without a will. Now what do I do? What is a Short Certificate? A Short Certificate is a document that is certified proof of the appointment of the Estate
’s Personal Representative (Executor or Administrator). It is required to gain access to the assets of the decedent. The term "short" certificate
refers to the size of the document. That authorizes a person to act as personal representative- ie to obtain legal documents and other information on behalf of a decedent. The estate recovery department of medicaid can contact the bank and pursue recovery from the bank directly. Otherwise one can use the small estate affidavit which is for estates under $11,000, precisely to avoid the cost/hassle of probate; that form is here:
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