Schicchi is a keen, shrewd, Tuscan peasant of the thirteenth century, who has succeeded in making his way in Florence in spite of many handicaps. Rinuccio, a young fellow in love with Lauretta, Schicchi's daughter, asks his advice over a certain will. Buoso Donati, it appears, havin'g died without direct descendants, had left all his fortune to a monastery, much against the hopes of his relatives — Rinuccio's family who had gathered around his deathbed. Schicchi says there is one remedy only: he can impersonate the dead man — whose demise has not yet been announced — and dictate a new will, in which each of the relatives will get just what he wants. The kinsfolk are delighted at this idea, and send for a notary. The notary comes, and Schicchi, in Donati's bed, dictates the will; but, after bequeathing a few minor pieces of property to the relatives, he leaves the bulk of Donati's fortune to himself. The relatives do not dare protest for fear of the law. The young lovers, however, are made happy, for Schicchi gives to Lauretta his portion under the mock will.