Hi Steven! Happy to keep assisting you. I will go through your questions one by one.
Here is the way I understand things. My father's trust consisted of real estate worth $65,000 and a bank account worth $3000. The fact that these assets were in a trust negates the requirement for probate for these assets. Am I correct in this understanding? Yes, that is correct. Any assets in a trust do not need to be probated under AZ law.
Dad's assets outside of the trust consisted of a car worth $1000 and a bank account worth $2500. Since these are worth less than $50,000, no probate is required for these assets. Am I correct in this understanding? Yes, that is correct. Any estate (note: "estate" does not mean "trust") worth $50,000 or less in personal property does not have to be probated in AZ. Personal Property includes furniture, jewelry, artworks, cars, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.
So, no probate is required for any part of Dad's estate. Please confirm that I am correct in this understanding. Yes, your understanding is correct.
If my understanding is correct and no probate is required and no notice to creditors is required, claims against Dad's estate can be filed for up to two years after death. Is there any way to file some kind of notice to reduce that time to file claims to four months or some other length of time less than two years? The only way to reduce the time the creditors have to file a claim is if everything was probated. Probate can take up to a year or two, so while the creditors may not be able to file a claim after 60 days, no one is going to be able to do anything with the assets until probate is over. Your choice then, is to distribute and use the assets in the trust and estate now, with the knowledge that the creditors can file a claim against them for up to 2 years OR probate the assets, thereby extinguishing the creditors' claims after 60 days, but having to wait to do anything with the assets until probate is over.