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Let's suppose that your spouse is the sole beneficiary of your IRA account and you die after the Required Beginning Date (RBD) for IRA distributions, which is currently 70.5 years. What would his or her options be? According to current regulations, your spouse would be required to distribute the remaining assets over either (1) his or her life expectancy according to government tables or (2) your remaining life expectancy at your death, again according to government tables. The deciding fact would be whichever is longer. If your spouse is younger than you are, then the life expectancy would be determined each year. If you are younger than your spouse, then at your death your life expectancy would be fixed as of that year and then be reduced by one year each subsequent year to determine how long your IRA assets would be distributed to your spouse.