It is now the time I need to take care of financial matters and get legal authorization. How do I do it?

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Laprofe, there is an instrument called a Power of Attorney. This is drawn up by an attorney and designates what your Mom would like you to take care of. However, the person must be competent to sign such a document. : - / If you are the only child, you may be able to take another route. For example, you might (on a good day at a good time of day for Mom, take her to the bank and have her sign papers to allow you to be on an account. So, this would give you the power to sign checks for her bills. Typically, brokerage accounts require their own forms to be signed. Still, they may send them to you and if she is able to sign, that might work.
CAUTION, if there are other sibs this can really blow up in your face as they can take legal action since the paperwork was signed under 'questionable circumstances'
Alternatively, you can seek guardianship. There are threads on this site about that process. From what I've read here, it can be lengthy and expensive. A lot depends upon your Mom's financial circumstances (she has a little or a lot) the family situation and dynamics ( you are the only family member to there are sibs and the dynamics aren't great).
If you are comfortable telling us more, there are many on this site who have faced the exact situation. Good luck
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Is your mother still competent to make decisions? If so, she can authorize you to be her POA and it will kick in when she's no longer competent. If not, you need to have her evaluated for dementia by a Dr. Then you need to have an attorney or judge (depending on where you live) do the legal documentation to give you POA.

Actually, not to make waves, but this is something we all need to do BEFORE our parents are "to far gone" to make their own decisions.

A quick attorney's visit should help you out a lot.

Good Luck. Others know a lot more about this than I do. I am just in the loop since my DH and I just barely did our wills and I feel so much better having finally made this legal! (We're 61 and 66...still youngsters!!)
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