(a) The court shall grant letters testamentary or of administration to persons qualified to act, in the following order:
(1) the person named as executor in the decedent's will;
(1-a) the person designated as administrator as authorized under Section 254.006 ;
(2) the decedent's surviving spouse;
(3) the principal devisee of the decedent;
(4) any devisee of the decedent;
(5) the next of kin of the decedent;
(6) a creditor of the decedent;
(7) any person of good character residing in the county who applies for the letters;
(8) any other person who is not disqualified under Section 304.003 ; and
(9) any appointed public probate administrator.
(b) For purposes of Subsection (a)(5), the decedent's next of kin:
(1) is determined in accordance with order of descent, with the person nearest in order of descent first, and so on; and
(2) includes a person and the person's descendants who legally adopted the decedent or who have been legally adopted by the decedent.
(c) If persons are equally entitled to letters testamentary or of administration, the court:
(1) shall grant the letters to the person who, in the judgment of the court, is most likely to administer the estate advantageously; or
(2) may grant the letters to two or more of those persons.
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