St. Louis County Courts

St. Louis County Probate Court

HISTORY AND FUNCTION OF THE PROBATE COURT

The St. Louis County Circuit Court, Probate Court, hears and determines matters pertaining to the body of Missouri law which provides for the orderly transfer of property upon death, the appointment of guardians and conservators, and the commitment for treatment of mentally ill persons.

The probate court was created in 1877 when St. Louis County became a governmental entity separate from the City of St. Louis. More recently, St. Louis County Circuit Court became a consolidated court and the probate court was integrated into the St. Louis County Circuit Clerk's Office.

From carefully handwritten inventories listing wagon wheels and farm implements to computer print-outs detailing the administration of estates with millions of dollars of "worldly goods", our records reflect the growth and change of St. Louis County. Even with the volume and complexity of current probate proceedings, staff strive to maintain that same attention to detail and concern for "making the record" with which the clerk in 1877 carefully hand copied the wills filed in the court.