"Paupers' funerals" or national assistance funerals, as they are known have risen by 24% in the last four years in Scotland.
Across the UK the cost of a basic burial has risen for 12 years in a row and now stands at an average of £3,693 - a 90% increase since 2004.
Report author David Robertson said, “Most families will struggle to meet that kind of cost, particularly if the bereavement is sudden and they have not been planning for it. Low-income families in particular, who are finding it hard just to pay their food and fuel bills, can suddenly face a bill for several thousands of pounds which they simply can't pay."
Researchers found that in the 2004-2006 period the funerals were split 49% to 51% between people with no traceable next of kin and those whose relatives could not afford or were unwilling to pay for a funeral, for the 12 local authorities that provided data. Between 2013-2015 this had increased to 73% where relatives were unable or unwilling to pay and 27% whose next of kin could not be found.