(a) The clerk may appoint a guardian of the estate for any minor. The clerk may appoint a guardian of the person or a general guardian only for a minor who has no natural guardian.
(b) The clerk may appoint as guardian of the person or general guardian only an adult individual whether or not that individual is a resident of the State of North Carolina.
(c) The clerk may appoint as guardian of the estate an adult individual whether or not that individual is a resident of the State of North Carolina or a corporation that is authorized by its charter to serve as a guardian or in similar fiduciary capacities.
(d) If the minor's parent or parents have made a testamentary recommendation pursuant to G.S. 35A-1225 for the appointment of a guardian, the clerk shall give substantial weight to such recommendation; provided, such recommendation may not affect the rights of a surviving parent who has not willfully abandoned the minor, and the clerk shall in every instance base the appointment of a guardian or guardians on the minor's best interest.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an employee of a treatment facility, as defined in G.S. 35A-1101(16), may not serve as guardian for a ward who is an inpatient in or resident of the facility in which the employee works; provided, this subsection shall not apply to or affect the validity of any appointment of a guardian that occurred before October 1, 1987. (1987, c. 550, s. 1; 1989, c. 473, s. 1.)