I have several wills from 16th/17th century England where a witness to the will had the same name as one of the sons who was a beneficiary in that will. I have always assumed these witnesses were other relatives of the same name rather than the sons.
I would have thought that it would not have been valid or legal for a beneficiary to be a witness to a will, for obvious reasons. However I am unsure where I got this idea into my head and if I am anachronistically attributing more modern probate laws to this earlier period.
Does ecclesiastical or common law from 16th/17th century England dictate who could and could not be witness to a will? Or was it perfectly acceptable for a son to witness his father's will even if he was one of the main beneficiaries?