Amber D. Hughes (Curto)

Legal Assistant: Ann Riedel


Amber’s practice focuses solely on the areas of Estate Planning and Probate and Trust Administration. She regularly represents high-net-worth individuals, young professionals, families, professional athletes, business owners, and retirees. Before joining Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, Amber worked at a small Arizona estate planning firm and also clerked at the Arizona Superior Court for the Honorable Judge Glenn Davis.

Currently, Amber serves as Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Estate Planning & Tax Practice. In addition, she serves as Past 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 and has extensive courtroom experience regarding the administration of trusts and estates. 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 or countries.
  • Representation of probate and trust estates where family members were omitted from the Will or Trust and asserts claims against the estate.
  • Simple estates where probate can be avoided by use of Affidavits.

Community Involvement. In 2017, Amber was honored by Benevilla, a non-profit organization that supports older adults, adults with intellectual disabilities, children, and the families who care for them, with the Legacy Champion Award which recognizes professionals for their service, leadership and dedication. Amber also served on the Board of Directors for Benevilla. Amber has donated her time to the Sun Health Foundation, to assist in raising awareness of, and funds to benefit, Parkinson's research. She has also volunteered her time with Child Crisis Arizona, Habitat for Humanity, the Girl Scouts of America, Project C.U.R.E. and Crisis Nursery.


Speaking Engagements

  • "Estate Planning for Parents of Minor Children," Western Alliance Bank's Parent Group, November 2019
  • "Elder Law Part 2: Abuse & Neglect Claims and How to Deal with Isolation and Seclusion," Maricopa County Bar Association, Moderator, October 2019
  • "Intermediate Probate Administration: Dealing With Peculiar Probate Problems," Maricopa County Bar Association's Estate Planning Section, September 2019
  • "Kids Are Expensive! Financial and Estate Planning For Parents," Modern Milk, June 2019
  • "Is the Clayton Election a Good Choice for Your Estate Plan?," Power Networking Group, February 2018
  • "Protect Your Assets Through Charitable Giving and Advanced Wealth Planning," Junior League of Phoenix, November 2017
  • "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


  • Maricopa County Bar Association Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration Section, 2015-2016 Chair; 2014-2019 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