is the “court procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid” and encompasses “all matters and proceedings pertaining to the administration of estates, guardianships, etc.”<ref>Henry Campbell Black, ''Black's Law Dictionary,'' 5th ed. (St. Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Co., 1979), 1081, "probate."</ref> Various types of records are created throughout the probate process. These may include , [[United States Probate Wills|wills]], bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions . In many instances, they are the only known source of relevant information such as the decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their places of residence. They may also include information about adoption or guardianship of minor children and dependents. For further information about the [[United States Probate Process|probate process]], types of probate records, [[Analyzing United States Probate Records|analyzing probate records]], and to access a [[Glossary of United States Probate Terms|glossary]] of probate terms, see [[United States Probate Records|United States Probate Records]].
In Missouri, probate records have usually been recorded by the clerks of the probate courts, but in some counties the common pleas or circuit courts handled this function
. The records include wills, administrator bonds, and estate inventories. They are frequently indexed.< br>[[Category: Missouri_Tasks|Probate Intro]]