A statutory trust is an unincorporated association created under a governing trust instrument (often called a trust agreement or declaration of trust). As with common law trusts, a statutory trust is managed by one or more trustees (who may belong to different classes, with different responsibilities). The ownership interest is held by beneficial owners (or beneficiaries), who may hold a percentage interest or a specified number of units of interest. The statutory trust is a legal entity separate and apart from its trustees and beneficiaries. Generally, beneficial owners of a statutory trust enjoy limited liability similar to that of a corporationâ€™s shareholders.
Delaware statutory trusts, or DSTs, are formed under the Delaware Statutory Trust Act, 12 Del. C. §§ 3801 et seq. A DST must file a certificate of trust with the Secretary of State. At least one trustee of a DST must be a legal resident of the State of Delaware.