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They said court will not come after me if she can not cover her part of rent and there is arrears. I do not want to sign this paper that I am responsible for 'xcess' rent.' They tell me not to worry but they need a third party person. Mom is 97. What am I responsible for if I sign this?

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What type of “Rent”? .....is this for your 97 yr old mom’s own solo apartment OR a senior subsidized housing apartment OR is it mom’s monthly “rent” in a Nursing Home or Assisted Living facility or other group living situation?

Often elder housing / living situations require for the participants to pay almost all of their monthly income - like your moms SS - as their copay. Is this the situation?
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to country mouse's question. the paper says I am to put in amount of money I will pay twds rent each month. They also want me to receive my mother's ss so I can put that thru for her and my half to pay the rent.
I am 72 and wanting to leave work soon. I do not know what happens when I may not be able to pay my share.
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Do not sign it! Unless you are on the rental agreement, you have no financial obligation. However, be prepared for her to be evicted. Does she have any money at all? Money that you can use to pay her rent?
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This sounds like one of those times a good lawyer would be worth every penny.
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Do not sign it. It sounds as though you are being hustled into acting as your mother's guarantor.

Can you say a little more about your mother's situation? Are you her primary caregiver? Is she living alone? Who's her landlord? Is she receiving support from any social services providers?
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