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I am going to answer my own question after some more research … in case somebody else stumbles across this question.
My assumption about only 1/2 of the shares getting the step up in basis was wrong. There are quite a few articles out there stating under US tax code that community property (i.e. property acquired in community property state), in this case stock shares, would ALL get the step up in basis. Non-community property would only get a 1/2 of the shares stepped up.