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LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 9908
Experience:  Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
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I need to get a short certificate for my brother who died

Customer Question

I need to get a short certificate for my brother who died 4/21/17. He was single, lived with my mother and me, and has no children. He only had $147 in the bank. He also had Medicaid. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Human Services wants to have a copy of the original signature card from the bank. The bank will only give it to me when I show a death certificate [ that I have ] and a short certificate. How do I obtain a short certificate in my case.
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: I have his last checking and savings bank statements and a death certificate.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 12 days ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  LegalGems replied 12 days ago.

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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Expert:  LegalGems replied 7 days ago.

Good day. Just checking in to see how the above worked out. You can always reach out to me hear on Just Answer and I will do my best to get the requested information for you. Thank you!

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