Every month, IRA expert Ed Slott is taking your questions about Individual Retirement Accounts on AARP:
I have two Roth IRAs at separate brokerage firms. I want to name my wife as beneficiary for one account and my son as beneficiary for the other.
When I die, can my wife convert her account into her own Roth IRA so she does not have to withdraw the money in 10 years? My son (he is above 18) will get the other account, and will have to withdraw the money in 10 years.
Yes, you can name different beneficiaries for each of your Roth accounts.
On the Roth account you are leaving to your wife, yes, she can roll that over to her own Roth IRA as a spousal rollover.
Since she now becomes the Roth IRA owner, like all Roth IRA owners, she is not subject to any required minimum distributions (RMDs) during her lifetime, so she can keep these Roth funds growing tax free for the rest of her life. If she does need any of the funds, she can withdraw them at any time, and in any amount she wishes. Those distributions will almost always be free from income taxes to her.