The Maryland Statutory Trust Act has its origins in the 1999 Maryland Business Trust Act.¹ The Maryland General Assembly revised the original business trust act in early 2010, and those provisions were signed into law in June of that year. The Maryland Act was further amended in 2014, and those changes went into law the following year.
DST is an abbreviation for Delaware Statutory Trust, a legal entity constructed under Delaware law. Despite the name, neither the property nor the investors need to be located in Delaware. In a DST, each investor has an ownership interest in the Trust, which in turn owns the property. Investors are known as “beneficiaries” of the Trust. For these reasons, the security that an investor in a DST owns are called “beneficiary interests.” The IRS treats DST beneficiary interests as direct property ownership, thus qualifying for a 1031 exchange.
If you’re considering investing in a Delaware Statutory Trust (DST), there are some things you need to consider before making the leap. Evaluation of a DST is a unique process because of the DST’s legal and financial structure as a pre-packaged investment. The Sponsor defines the terms of a DST in a Private Placement Memorandum (PPM), which outlines the rights of the involved parties, including the investors, Sponsor, and lender. The PPM also designates each party’s compensation.
A Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) is a 1031 exchange-eligible investment structure that gives investors partial ownership of commercial real estate properties that are managed by a professional real estate Sponsor. The DST market has been growing steadily over the years, from $3.4 billion in 2019 to $7.4 billion in 2021, according to Mountain Dell Consulting. As the market for these kinds of investments grows, product diversification is likely to follow suit.
A Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) may provide an alternative investment if you buy real estate properties to pursue passive income. Purchasing ownership in a DST can offer you income and the potential to bolster your investment portfolio.
Real estate investments may be an attractive way to pursue your financial goals. However, every investor is different, and each has individual preferences for how to invest. For some, direct ownership and management of property may be satisfying, while for others, that approach is too labor-intense. Delaware Statutory Trusts (DSTs) are worth considering for investors exploring passive options. Investing in a DST may provide some potential advantages of direct real estate ownership without the direct ownership management responsibilities. The IRS has defined a DST investment as direct fractional ownership of commercial real estate.