Refusing to “mechanically” apply New York’s Estates, Powers and Trusts Law, a Brooklyn appellate panel has held that a caretaker who secretly married a dying retiree with dementia may not claim an elective share of his estate.

The unanimous Appellate Division, 2nd Department, panel ruled that defendant Nidia Colon, who married Howard Thomas, 72, while the daughter who served as his primary caregiver was on vacation, “technically had a legal right to an elective share as a surviving spouse” under the EPTL.