You answered your question - in reverse ... in order to get a Short Certificate, the "courts" are already "flagged" because you need to Probate to get a Short Certificate ... so the Probate has already occurred ...
Not the answer you want to hear - I know ... And I hope I explained it well enough ...
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The only way to obtain a short certificate is to open an estate for the deceased individual. The short certificate is proof that a will has been probated (or if there is no will, then it is proof that an administrator or administratrix has been appointed). You are correct that once an estate is opened, there are many other steps to follow and additional costs will be incurred. If the landlord will not acquiesce on this issue, you might have no choice.
You should contact an attorney in your area.
Law Offices of Marshall D. Chriswell
714 Philadelphia St., Suite 200
Indiana, PA 15701
Marshall D. Chriswell is a civil practitioner with offices in Indiana and Clearfield Counties. Mr. Chriswell's practice emphasizes Wills & Estate Planning, Probate, Real Estate, and general civil disputes.
Mr. Chriswell provides free initial consultations, and will gladly meet clients in their homes upon request, including on the evenings or weekends.
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I agree with my colleagues, When you obtain a short certificate, you have opened up the probate process and specific filing requirements would therefore be triggered, including inheritance tax form filing.
You may want to seek further assistance from probate counsel should you want to proceed further.
The information you obtain herein is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. It does not establish an Attorney/Client relationship. You should consult an experienced probate or estate attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.