After Buoso Donati (an extremely wealthy man) dies, chaos ensues. His money-grubbing relatives, pretending to be mourning his death, search frantically for his will. After it is found, and it is discovered that he left most of his money and possessions to the local monks, the family is horrified. They beg cunning Gianni Schicchi to find a solution. At first Schicchi does not want to help the revolting family, but eventually agrees to impersonate Buoso Donati and attempt to change the will (since no one outside of the family knows Donati has already died). In the end, Schicchi succeeds in changing the will, but ends up giving most of the possessions to himself!