Anyway, there are plenty of other examples: Kosovo independence was unanimously passed by its parliament, very own Ukrainian independence referendum in 1991 passed with 90% of approval and 80% turnover, South Sudanese referendum passed with 98% approval and so on. Wikipedia has a helpful list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I... In short, it's not unusual for independence referenda to get near-anonimous votes.
Referenda, especially independence referenda, often get 90%+ participation. For example, just last month Putin has obviously orchestrated a non-binding independence referendum in Venice: 89% of participants voted for independence with 75% turnover ( http://rt.com/news/venice-vote... ).
The slate is then wiped clean.
Nope, it's not wiped clean. Estate simply goes bankrupt - all the usual rules apply. Of course, inheritors don't HAVE to acquire a bankrupt estate - from their point of view it might as well not exist.
Here situation is more complex - inheritors acquired an estate that didn't appear to have debts only to find out about them later. It's an unfortunate situation, but it happens.
And of course, you can always refuse inheritance - then all the assets escheat to the state or to other inheritors.
The fact that inheritors are responsible for the civil damages, including ones from future lawsuits, is nothing new. IRS also has power to seize funds without going to courts first, nothing new here as well. It's the combination of these two that makes a technically valid but WTFy situation.