29A-5-202. Nomination of guardian or conservator by minor or parent.
A minor, age fourteen or older, may nominate any individual or entity to act as his guardian or conservator. The nomination may be made in writing or by an oral request to the court. The court may appoint the individual or entity so nominated if the nominee is otherwise eligible to act and would serve in the minor's best interests. However, no nomination by a minor may supersede a previous appointment by the court.
A parent of an unmarried minor may nominate a guardian or conservator of the minor by will or other signed writing. Absent an effective nomination by the minor, the court may appoint a parental nominee if both parents are dead and the nominee is otherwise eligible to act and would serve in the minor's best interests. In the event that both parents have made nominations, the court shall select the nominee which it believes best qualified. A parental nomination shall be effective whether or not the minor was living at the time of the making of the will or other signed writing. However, no parental nomination may supersede a previous appointment by the court.
Absent an effective nomination by a minor, age fourteen or older, or deceased parent, the court shall appoint as guardian or conservator the individual or entity that will act in the minor's best interests. In making that appointment, the court shall consider the proposed guardian's or conservator's geographic location, familial or other relationship with the minor, ability to carry out the powers and duties of the office, commitment to promoting the minor's welfare, any potential conflicts of interest, the recommendations of the parents or other interested relatives, and the wishes of the minor if the minor is of sufficient age to form an intelligent preference. The court may appoint more than one guardian or conservator and need not appoint the same individual or entity to serve as both guardian and conservator.
Source: SL 1993, ch 213, § 20; SDCL 30-36-20; SL 1995, ch 167, § 181.
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