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:

Terms Used In Missouri Laws 475.045

  • conservator: as used in this chapter , includes limited conservator unless otherwise specified or apparent from the context. See Missouri Laws 475.010
  • following: when used by way of reference to any section of the statutes, mean the section next preceding or next following that in which the reference is made, unless some other section is expressly designated in the reference. See Missouri Laws 1.020
  • Guardian: one appointed by a court to have the care and custody of the person of a minor or of an incapacitated person. See Missouri Laws 475.010
  • Guardianship: if used in a section in a context relating to rights and obligations other than property rights or obligations, means guardian of the person as defined in Missouri Laws 1.020
  • Incompetent: if used in a section in a context relating to actual occupational ability without reference to a court adjudication of incompetency, means the actual ability of a person to perform in that occupation. See Missouri Laws 1.020
  • Minor: any person who is under the age of eighteen years. See Missouri Laws 475.010
  • Parent: the biological or adoptive mother or father of a child whose parental rights have not been terminated under Missouri Laws 475.010
  • person: may extend and be applied to bodies politic and corporate, and to partnerships and other unincorporated associations. See Missouri Laws 1.020

 (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.