Amber D. Hughes (Curto)

Associate

emailahughes@rcalaw.com
phone602.440.4847
fax602.257.6947
Legal Secretary: Anna Van Wyk
emailavanwyk@rcalaw.com

Biography

Amber’s practice focuses on the areas of Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration. She also practices in the area of business formation. Before joining Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, Amber worked as an associate attorney at a small Arizona estate planning firm and also clerked at the Arizona Superior Court for the Honorable Judge Glenn Davis.

Amber is currently serving as elected Chair of the Maricopa County Bar Association's Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Section.

Estate Planning. Amber takes a client-centered approach to ensure that all aspects of the estate plan are covered. Some of Amber's recent estate planning experience includes:

  • Tax planning for clients with taxable estates to ensure that the maximum amount of the estate is available to loved ones and charities.
  • Estate planning for business owners, including non-probate transfers of business interests to family members, and the transfer of real property interests located outside the United States.
  • Planning for second marriages to ensure that the surviving spouse and both families are adequately provided for.
  • Planning for young professionals and new families, including naming desired guardians for minor children and preparation of beneficiary designations.

Probate and Trust Administration. Amber routinely oversees complicated probate matters and trust administrations. Complex issues often arise when administering the estate, including estate tax questions, property valuation concerns, title defects, family disputes, and undiscovered assets. Amber's varied experience allows her to advise estates concerning the resolution of these and other issues. Amber's recent probate/trust administration experience includes:

  • Complex trust administration for a taxable estate, including dealing with real property located in other states.
  • Representation of probate estates where a family member was omitted from the Will and has asserted claims against the estate.
  • Simple estates where probate can be avoided by use of Affidavits.
  • Extensive courtroom experience regarding the administration of trusts and estates.

Community Involvement. Amber has donated her time to the Sun Health Foundation, to assist in raising awareness of, and funds to benefit, Parkinson's research. Amber also served on the Board of Directors for Benevilla, a non-profit organization that supports older adults, adults with intellectual disabilities, children, and the families who care for them. She has also volunteered her time with Habitat for Humanity, the Girl Scouts of America, Project C.U.R.E., and Crisis Nursery.

Publications

Speaking Engagements

  • "How to Properly Fund Your Trust," Wooddale Village Coffee Club, July 2016
  • "Advising Your Clients About Charitable Remainder Trusts," Financial Advisors, June 2016
  • "What's on Your Desk?," Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Section of the Maricopa County Bar Association, Panel Moderator, September 2015
  • "Myths, Misconceptions and Mistakes in Estate Planning," Cetera Network Advisors, September 2014
  • "Basic Estate Planning," Edward Jones Seminar, August 2014

Memberships

  • Maricopa County Bar Association Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration Section, 2015-2016 Chair; 2014 Board Member
  • Central Arizona Estate Planning Council, Member
  • Maricopa County Bar Association, Young New Lawyers Division, Member
  • American Bar Association, Probate and Trust Section, Member
  • Benevilla, Past Board Member
  • West Valley Connect, Past Board Member
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