Most people already have a will and their Executor chosen to administer the wishes laid out in the will already. If you have had some "life" changes you should update the will so those changes can be amended. If you currently don't have a will it is a good idea to get one done so that your assets can be distributed as desired.
The November SmallBiz Builder lays out some of the guidelines an Executor should follow. Here are a few additional points to consider:
Use a non interest bearing account so that the
estate does not earn additional interest income. This is taxable so it may require an
additional tax return.
2. Get help from you lawyer or accountant when needed. This may be a starting point if you are overwhelmed in the process and can offer some guidance on what should be done first and what to avoid doing.
3. Do not pay out all of the money from the estate until all taxes have been paid and assessed. Make sure you get a clearance certificate before paying out the final balances or the Executor will be liable for unpaid taxes.