Missouri Revised Statutes Title XXXI. Trusts and Estates of Decedents and Persons Under Disability § 475.045. Who may be appointed guardian of minor

1. Except in cases where they fail or refuse to give required security or are adjudged unfit for the duties of guardianship or conservatorship, or waive their rights to be appointed, the following persons, if otherwise qualified, shall be appointed as guardians or conservators of minors:

(1) The parent or parents of the minor, except as provided in section 475.030 ;

(2) If any minor over the age of fourteen years has no qualified parent living, a person nominated by the minor, unless the court finds appointment contrary to the best interests of the minor;

(3) Where both parents of a minor are dead, any person appointed under this section or section 475.046 by the will of the last surviving parent, who has not been adjudged unfit or incompetent for the duties of guardian or conservator.

2. Unfitness of any of the persons mentioned in subsection 1 for the duties of guardianship or conservatorship may be adjudged by the court after due notice and hearing.

3. If no appointment is made under subsection 1 of this section, the court shall appoint as guardian or conservator of a minor the most suitable person who is willing to serve and whose appointment serves the best interests of the child to a stable and permanent placement.

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