Who is likely to be appointed guardian?
Texas law provides a priority list for choosing the guardian of an incapacitated individual, beginning with the person identified by the incapacitated individual (prior to his or her incapacity) in a “designation of guardian” legal document, or in some cases, the person identified by the last-surviving parent of the incapacitated individual in his or her designation of guardian. If no designation exists, the court looks to the incapacitated person’s spouse, if any, and then to the next of kin, followed finally by a nonrelative. The priority list for guardian of a minor begins with parents, followed by the person designated by the last-surviving parent, and then the nearest ascendant (grandparents, great-grandparents, etc.), next of kin, and finally a nonrelative.
If more than one person of the same priority wishes to be guardian, the court chooses the person who is best qualified to serve. In considering priority, the court has the authority to skip over a person higher on the priority list if the court determines that the person is ineligible due to conflict of interest, lack of experience, notoriously bad conduct, or other reasons of unsuitability.