Executor Responsibilities

Dear Len & Rosie,

A good friend of mine died last month, and I have just discovered that he named me as his executor. I haven't the faintest idea what I'm supposed to do. I'm not an attorney, and I don't know if I want to devote the time to it. I'm not even sure that I want to be executor. My friend is survived by his four adult children, two sons and two daughters. They have never gotten along with each other. I just know that they are going to start fighting over their father's estate, which is worth over $500,000. Just last week they were arguing over who would get his stereo and television. What is an executor, what does the job pay, and what can I do if I don't want to do it?