My friend needs a guardian. Can only family members be appointed as guardian?

No, any person interested in the welfare of the alleged incapacitated individual can petition to be appointed guardian. However, the individual’s family members have priority and will have to receive notice of the petition. If there is no objection from any family member, you will be appointed, unless there is some compelling reason for the court not to appoint you such as a felony or prior removal as guardian. If one or more family members object to your appointment, the court will schedule an evidentiary hearing to determine who should be appointed as the guardian.