Here is a good definition on wikipedia of the ‘Step-Up- in basis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepped-up_basis
Here is a link of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxpayer_Relief_Act_of_1997
Here is a good article titled Community Property with Right of Survivorship: http://www.svcn.com/archives/lgwt/11.07.01/re-law-0145.html . It talks about what the law is, how the ‘Step-Up’ is involved, the difference between community property states like California and non-community property states and the benefits California residents receives because it is a Community property state. There are some examples to help the reader understand the differences.