Short Certificate Law and Legal Definition

A short certificate refers to a certificate issued by the county surrogate who evidences the appointment and capacity of the executor/ executrix who have been named to handle the affairs of an estate after the will is probated. If there was no will, it evidences the appointment of an administrator. Short certificate is issued to legally appoint a person to administer an estate. They are called short certificates because of the half sheet size of the paper in which they are issued. The register issues the short certificate after the personal representative has qualified and after the Letters have been issued. Short certificates may be ordered either at the time of probate or later.